By NewsTaco (3 minute read)

There’s very good news concerning the U.S. high school graduation rate. The national trend is on track to reach 90 percent by 2020.

The 81 percent rate announced by the Department of Education for the 2012-2013 school year is up from 80 percent in 2011-12 and 79 percent in 2010-11. That was before the end of the 2016-17 school year. Now that summer has started, we can add the numbers for another successful term.

While the government is slow to release these statistics — the numbers we get today are from the year before last — the graduation trend is on a positive tack.

National Center for Education Statistics revealed that from 2014–15, the adjusted cohort graduation rate for public high school students rose to 83 percent, the highest rate since the measure was first collected in 2010–11.

This is especially promising when placed in contrast with higher education.

The Pew Research Center tells us that the overall college enrollment rate for 2014 was 35 percent. The idea is that as more student graduate from high school, more will enroll in college as well, and the competition to get into the best colleges will grow.

That means also that the work of advising high school graduates about the options they’ll have once they walk across the stage to receive their diploma will become more and more important.

Students have to consider if college is their best option. They have to pick where they’d like to study and go through the application process. Then they have to consider what they’ll need once they get there. It’s a process filled with very serious choices and goals. And all this come with certain responsibilities.

But one of the things that is not really a choice for young men is to register with the U.S. Selective Service System.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s the law.

All young men regardless of race, religion, ability, or immigration status must register when they turn 18 – it’s the law. If they fail to do so by their 26th birthday, they can:

  • Lose eligibility for many student loans and grants.
  • Lose eligibility for many federal and state government jobs.
  • Experience significant delays in the immigration “citizenship” process.

The first item on that list is the one that could affect graduating high school seniors the most. It could be an obstacle to financing a college career.

One thing should be made clear.

The Selective Service System does not ask for a registrant’s immigration or resident status and there is no effort to identify undocumented immigrants and provide reports to other government agencies.  Young men living in the U.S. are required by law to register regardless of their immigration status.

It’s a responsibility that few 18 year-old men – Latino or not, citizen or not – consider as they transition into adult life. If you know a young man who has turned 18 or is about to, make sure to remind him to register with Selective Service – and what’s at stake if he doesn’t.

Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Men must simply visit the Selective Service homepage at and click on the button that says “Register.” On the next page, there’s a Registration Form with a few simple questions including name, address, birth date, and social security number.

If a man doesn’t know his social security number or doesn’t have one, the paper registration form does not require a social security number and can be printed from the website or picked up at most U.S. Post Offices.

Filling out the form may only take a few minutes, but it will make a positive difference for the rest of a young man’s life.



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